I saw a remarkable film this past weekend. “Finding Vivian Maier.”
If you get a chance, see it. It’s well worth your times.
Vivian was an enigma. A puzzle that no one solved.
She worked most of her life as a nanny for wealthy suburban families in Chicago. And she had a Rolleiflex (and later, other cameras) around her neck almost all her waking hours.
She took thousands and thousands of street photographs. Of men, women and children. At parks, the beach, the stockyards, downtown. Her images are incredible yet she never showed them to anyone in her lifetime. She was a loner. Eccentric. Strange.
This is what the website about her says:
“Piecing together Vivian Maier’s life can easily evoke Churchill’s famous quote about the vast land of Tsars and commissars that lay to the east. A person who fit the stereotypical European sensibilities of an independent liberated woman, accent and all, yet born in New York City. Someone who was intensely guarded and private, Vivian could be counted on to feistily preach her own very liberal worldview to anyone who cared to listen, or didn’t. Decidedly unmaterialistic, Vivian would come to amass a group of storage lockers stuffed to the brim with found items, art books, newspaper clippings, home films, as well as political tchotchkes and knick-knacks. The story of this nanny who has now wowed the world with her photography, and who incidentally recorded some of the most interesting marvels and peculiarities of Urban America in the second half of the twentieth century is seemingly beyond belief.”
A young photographer and filmmaker, John Maloof, stumbled upon her works. He is determined the world know the talent of Vivian Maier.